Third party attendance at interviews

Generally, immediate family members may accompany passport or CRBA applicants to their appointment interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and all minor children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Passport or CRBA applicants also have the option of being accompanied by an attorney at their appointment interview.  Attendance by any third party, including an attorney, accompanying an applicant is subject to the following parameters:

    • Only one attendee at a time will be allowed to accompany an applicant (or the applicant’s parent or guardian if the applicant is a minor).
    • Attendance by an attorney does not excuse the applicant and/or the minor applicant’s parent or guardian from attending the appointment.
    • The manner in which a passport or CRBA appointment interview is conducted is always at the discretion of the consular officer, following State Department guidance.
    • It is expected that the applicant(s) will participate in the appointment interview with minimal assistance from the attendee.
    • Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment interview.
    • Attendees other than a parent or guardian accompanying a minor child may not answer a consular officer’s question on behalf of an applicant, nor may they summarize, correct, or attempt to clarify an applicant’s response, or interrupt or interfere with an applicant’s responses to a consular officer’s questions.
    • If an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.
    • The consular officer has sole discretion to determine the language(s) that best facilitate(s) communication between the consular officer and the applicant.  Attendees may not object to or insist on the participation of an interpreter in the appointment interview, to the qualifications of any interpreter, or to the manner or substance of any translation.
    • No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.
    • Attendees may not object to a consular officer’s question, or instruct the applicant not to answer a consular officer’s question.  Attendees may not interfere in any manner with the consular officer’s inquiries. 
    • During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.
    • Attendees may take written notes, but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.
    • Attendees may not engage in any other conduct that materially disrupts the appointment interview.  Attendees must follow all security policies of the Department of State and the U.S. embassy or consulate where the appointment interview takes place.

Failure to observe these parameters will result in a warning to the attendee and, if ignored, the attendee may be asked to leave the appointment interview and/or the premises, as appropriate.  It would then be the applicant’s choice whether to continue the appointment interview without the attendee present, subject to the consular officer’s discretion to terminate the appointment interview.  The safety and privacy of all applicants awaiting consular services, as well as of consular and embassy personnel, is of paramount consideration.